Dar and I have been fulltiming in our bus-house for two and a half years. During that time we've grown from "newbies" (neophytes with a lot to learn) into, if I may be so bold, rather experienced RV'ers. During that time we've stayed in the bus-house for more than 900 nights at about 140 different campgrounds or RV parks in 32 States. We've spent about $12,000 for camping and parking -- an average of $4,800 per year and about $13 or $14 per night. Because we stay for free when boondocking or when parked with family or friends, our average paid night is more like $18 per night.
When we parked here at Sandollar Resort in Rockport a week or so ago, we had just turned over 25,000 miles on the bus-house odometer -- which works out to 10,000 miles per year. We've spent $10,000 buying about 3,160 gallons of diesel fuel at an average of $3.17 per gallon. Over it's life the bus-house has turned in about 7.8 mpg, but the last few tanks are exceeding 8 mpg as the engine breaks in and with the lighter car in tow.
Our other big expenses are food and health insurance. Each of them run somewhere in the neighborhood of $5,000 per year. I have the benefit of being able to maintain my health plan from work at a nominal cost to me. But we're in the open market for health insurance for Dar -- and even though she's 100% healthy we spend a bunch for coverage we hope we'll never need.
We've been able to live our lifestyle, with all expenses included, for a little more than $4,000 per month on average. Good months will come in at $3,000, bad months about $5,000. This amount doesn't include depreciation on the bus-house which probably should be included to get a clear picture of our real expenses.
During our sojourn we've met many more people than we can remember -- nice people, talented people, people that have accomplished amazing things in their lives. It's rare to run into someone who's not friendly and gregarious. I'm sure we've made more friends and met far more people than we would have living a more conventional lifestyle. The common thread that binds us all together is this preference for living in a camper and traveling, exploring, seeing parts of the country we've never seen before, and staying long enough in new places that it becomes comfortable, and familiar, and home... at least for a while.
When we started this project I was the one that was thinking we would maybe do this for two or three or maybe four years, and then we'd do something else. Dar, on the other hand, saw it as an open-ended lifestyle change. She liked the ability to spend extended periods of time with our Wisconsin Family, and then with our Washington Family, still be able to seek warmth during the winter, and see the country in between those extended stays. After two and a half years it's clear she was far more prescient than I. There's no end in sight that either of us can see at this point.
Ruminating in Rockport...